By Ben Golliver
Clippers forward Matt Barnes was assessed a flagrant foul 2 and ejected for shoving the throat of Timberwolves center Greg Stiemsma during the second quarter of a Wednesday night game at the Target Center.
With 8:26 remaining in the second quarter and the Timberwolves leading 33-25, Barnes took exception to a high screen from Stiemsma while defending J.J. Barea. Barnes initially shoved Stiemsma with both arms and then followed up by grabbing his neck and pushing his head backwards. Stiemsma didn't fall to the floor and the two players engaged in a stare-down mode until they could be separated by officials.
Barnes was assessed a flagrant foul 2, a designation that applies for fouls the referees deem are “unnecessary and excessive” and which requires an automatic ejection. He departed with zero points, one assists and one turnover in six minutes.
Like all flagrant fouls, Barnes' will be reviewed by the NBA league office, which has the authority to tack on an additional suspension or fine. It's possible Barnes could earn further sanctions here, as his actions were totally unrelated to the game and undertaken with bad intentions. Barnes, 32, is averaging 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game this season. He's on the books for $1.2 million.